On September 3, 2014, the International Trade Commission ("Commission") issued a notice in Certain Optical Disc Drives, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-897) determining to vacate ALJ Dee Lord's initial determination granting Respondents' motion for summary determination that Complainant failed to satisfy the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement.

By way of background, this investigation is based on a September 3, 2013 complaint filed by Optical Devices, LLC ("Optical") alleging violation of Section 337 in the importation into the U.S. and sale of certain optical disc drives, components thereof, and products containing the same that infringe one or more claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,904,007; 7,196,979; 8,416,651; RE40,927; RE42,913; and RE43,681.  See our September 6, 2013 and October 23, 2013 posts for more details on the complaint and Notice of Investigation, respectively. 

According to the Notice, in April 2014, Respondents filed multiple motions for summary determination of no domestic industry.  In May 2014, the ALJ issued an order requiring Optical to show cause as to why Respondents' motions should not be granted based upon Optical's failure to satisfy the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement.  ALJ Lord ultimately granted Respondents' motions on July 17, 2014.

Upon review, the Commission vacated ALJ Lord's findings that (i) Optical could not establish a domestic industry under subsections (A) or (B) of Section 337(a)(3) based on the activities of its licensees because Optical's domestic investments concerned only revenue-driven licenses, and (ii) that Optical failed to show the existence of a domestic industry under subsection (C) of Section 337(a)(3) because it failed to offer proof of its licensing expenditures.  The Commission also remanded the investigation to ALJ Lord for purposes of conducting further proceedings in connection with the Commission's concurrently issued remand order.